Sam McLean violin, Wellington 1961
Sam McLean was Wellington’s primary violin maker and repairer in the mid-twentieth century, with a professional workshop in Island Bay. His instruments are relatively rare and his total output unknown, but this strongly worked instrument shows he knew his craft well and had a good idea what he wished to achieve. The model follows Guarneri del Gesu, and gives the violin a rich, warm but clear tone across all four strings, with plenty of character. The golden honey-brown varnish is oil-based and has aged attractively.